When President Kate Lee calls Stone Barrington to Washington on an urgent matter, it’s soon clear that a potentially disastrous situation requires the kind of help more delicate than even he can provide . . . and he knows just the right man for the job. Teddy Fay: ex-CIA, master of disguise, and a gentleman not known for abiding by legal niceties in the pursuit of his own brand of justice.
What I liked: Smooth Operator is an off-shoot of the Stone Barrington series and even though I’d not read any of those books yet, I didn’t feel lost. Mr. Woods/Mr. Hall make sure you know everything you need to in order to enjoy the book.
Evidently Teddy Fae is a character from the Stone Barrington series and I actually enjoyed his character in Smooth Operator very much. He’s a bit violent and a master of disguise and just the person Stone needs to help when the Speaker of the House’s daughter is kidnapped. Everything needs to low key as the kidnappers have promised to kill the daughter if any law enforcement officials are brought in to investigate. The purpose of the kidnapping (no spoiler, as it’s revealed right from the beginning) is to get the Republican Speaker, Charles Blaine, to push through a bill for veterans with no changes. Evidently the Republican party doesn’t want the bill to pass in its current form. By championing the bill, Speaker Blaine will be committing political suicide. He doesn’t care though; all he wants is his daughter home safely.
The book is jumps from character to character so you get the thoughts and reasons behind the political blackmail. I was very impressed with the way the authors used the different characters and their situations to explain so many plot points. Karen Blaine, the kidnapped daughter’s point of view was truly horrifying. She’s built of stern stuff though and doesn’t give up.
Teddy is brought into the case by Stone and the President to find Karen before the vote is taken, if possible but the kidnappers always seem to be one step ahead in everything tried to find them. Teddy’s ability to disguise himself is one of my favorite things about Smooth Operator. All the other characters seemed a bit conventional unless they were interacting with Teddy. He’s pretty much given carte blanche to do whatever is necessary to find and rescue Karen. Since the bad guys seem to have a pipeline of information, Teddy is not willing to work with the normal crew available to him. He gets together a small team which he can hopefully trust.
Another part of Smooth Operator which was interesting to me was the female President of the United States was a former First Lady. Weaving a bit of the current political situation into the story made it feel a bit more believable.
What I didn’t like: Smooth Operator is a bit over the top and violent. It didn’t bother me but it might some. There are quite a few deaths and the descriptions are graphic. Also, I didn’t find the plot very believable, but it’s fiction for entertainment value and wasn’t a hard read.
And again, the problem I have with Smooth Operator is the price of the e-book. It’s listed for $12.99 at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My personal feeling is; I wouldn’t pay that much for Smooth Operator. I did enjoy the book but under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t pay that much for book one in a new series. If you’re a hardcore Stuart Woods fan, you might want the hardcover copy but I would recommend to my friends to visit the library for this one.
I was provided a copy of Smooth Operator by NetGalley for a fair and honest review.